Friday, March 27, 2009

Cure for the British Disease

**Editors' Note: Terry Tucker sent this fun one in today. We were kinda expecting the cure for halitosis, but whatev.**

The four of us head into a Carmel restaurant. Milo, my date for the evening, is the talker in the group, down visiting from Vancouver. I refer to him as Milo because he reminds me of the Paul Giamatti character in Sideways. A taller, slimmer, better looking version…..….who would have been a more believable match for Virginia Madsen in the movie than Giamatti.

Milo has been talking wine for the last couple hours, suave and self-assured. Earlier, we had partaken, partoked actually, of what Milo referred to as spliffs – Mid-eastern hash mixed and rolled with Turkish tobacco. An British thing, he confides, as if we were rural retards. Even though he’s Canadian, he has more than a bit of the British disease. Or maybe it’s the wine obsession that brings out the elitist touch. Prolly both.

We are seated next to an elderly group in formal dress, the men in suits. One of them is carrying on about wines. His speaking voice is loud, and abrasive…….very loud, probably an age-related hearing problem. We bide our time going over the menu, waiting for the verbiage to subside but it does not. It’s tempting walk over and adjust his hearing aid.

Too loud for us to carry on a conversation, so during the meal we listen to his spiel about David Bruce wines, a local winery, every imaginable aspect. Milo is listening intently, grimacing and shaking his head in silent disagreement throughout. Finally, Milo whips out a pen, writes on the slip of paper, and passes it around. “Total rubbish,” it says. We laugh.

Their group finally leaves, and we also prepare to depart. Milo calls the sommelier over, offers a few comments on the wine, then says, “that guy at the next table knew absolutely nothing about wine.” The sommelier nods knowingly. Milo beams in the glow of acknowledgment and hands him a generous tip. The wine steward pockets the tip……then says, “that gentleman at the next table……that was David Bruce.” Our cue to leave.

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